When retailers opened for business across the province Sunday they were forced to limit the amount of people inside at one time.
In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the Alberta government imposed new health restrictions requiring all businesses to reduce capacity from 25 per cent to 15.
“I think it would have been a little more difficult if they completely shut down retail stores especially a couple weeks before Christmas because that’s when a lot of retailers, that’s when they make a lot of their money,” said Bruce Gallop, a local business owner.
Bruce Gallop and his wife Kathy opened a home & gift shop on 124th Street called ‘Zack & Finnigan At Home’ this past July. They weren’t impacted by the first shut down, but are relieved stores like theirs are allowed to remain open this time around.
“It wouldn’t be devastating to us, but it might be to some people but we opened in a bad year for opening a new enterprise anyway so we understood coming in we had to be able to survive,” Gallop said.
Many shoppers tell CTV News Edmonton they’re going out of their way to shop local.
“Doing what we can to help the small business but we’re still trying to continue on with our lives and just being obviously being a lot more cautious and careful of cleaning and stuff like that,” Rick Morrow, who was doing some Christmas shopping with his wife.
“In order to keep our economy going it’s important to keep our businesses going, our small businesses, our community businesses so we’re doing our best to try to support them as much as we can,” said another shopper Carla Bradley.
Bradley said it was the first time in a long time she was able to shop with her mother.
“We’re just scared you know,” she said. “We want to keep her safe.”
But she said the new health measures made them feel more comfortable venturing into a store together.
“It wasn’t planned that she was going to come and she was actually just coming for a car ride today and she’s like ‘Oh that store looks really nice’ so I said well there’s actually nobody in there so we could go take a peek if you’d like,” Bradley said.